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Budget: We cannot complain (too much)

The Budget could have been worse. It could have beendelivered by George Osborne.

Instead, chancellor Alistair Darling protected publicservices by ushering in income tax rises on those who can afford it.

Cue the howls of protest by those who have done very wellsince Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 and Tony Blair continued herskewed economics in 1997.

Anyone would think that high earners were being taxed at 50%on their entire income. It is of course earnings above £150,000 a year that aresubject to the higher levy.

And although I wish Darling had done more to recognise childpoverty reduction targets and the financial problems facing many pensioners, hisopposite number on the Tory benches would undoubtedly have slashed publicspending at a time when we need it most.

Interestingly, BBC News last night reported a survey (thesource was unnamed) that suggested 53% of the public would rather pay moretax than have public services cut.

My, how the Tories howl.

During their tenure, one of the many cruel mantras tojustify their management of economic boom and mainly bust was “if it’s nothurting, it’s not working”.

Well it hurt the poor then; now it will hurt the wealthy -and, let’s face it, it is the excesses of capitalism that have got us into thismess.

No wonder the Right bleats. As the New Statesman reports,Labour has changed the rules of the game.

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Read Maria Ahmed’s take on Alistair Darling’s “Care First” scheme

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